Dear Socially Stephanie,
I recently heard that guest blogging is a no-no. Do you agree? I'm not sure if I should focus my time on it.
Blogged Down in Des Moines
Dear Blogged Down,
I'm happy you brought this topic up. It's really important and there's been a lot of debate about it. I can answer this for you really quickly: YES! You should definitely think about adding guest blogging as a part of your overall content marketing strategy. Okay, great. Bye now. No, no, just kidding. That would be no fun.
To truly understand why some are saying guest blogging is dead, we have to go back in time a bit. It all points back to SEO. Excuse me for a moment as I over-generalize here. At one time it was thought that back-linking was the only way to get great SEO results. Back-linking was important, and it still is. And people saw great results from guest blogging for better search engine rankings. But, of course, there are always abusers. And this strategy was abused heavily. People were creating guest blogs all over the place and not adding any value to them whatsoever. They were doing it just to get back-links. Google cracked down on this behavior, and that's the type of guest blogging that is a no-no. So if you're planning on guest blogging just to get back-links, I'm going to say stop right there.
If your idea of guest blogging is more wholesome, to share your knowledge and provide added value to readers, then YES, guest blog away. I support it! In fact, I'm doing it right now. Socially Stephanie is a guest blog on SocialMediaToday. And I can't tell you how many benefits come along with it.
I'm assuming you're dying to know what they are, right? First and foremost, guest blogging helps to brand you in your industry. Because you're taking your knowledge off your own blog and sharing it with the world, you are automatically going to get some more clout. I mean—hello!—if an external blog wants to publish your content, you clearly know what you're talking about. But beyond that, other side effects include increased reach, an increased audience, a new audience, an increased network and most importantly, increased traffic. I don't know about you, but I'll take a few doses of that.
My personal favorite benefit of guest blogging is the new audience I'm getting exposed to, and I'm sure you'll get hooked on that feeling, too. Because every time you guest blog, you're showcased to a new audience beyond your own. If the blogs you choose to guest blog for are well-received and trusted, you can be sure that your work will be taken seriously. Score one for online credibility, am I right?
Now that you know you should guest blog, let's talk about where you can do this. The first place you should look is at the blogs that you absolutely love. Clearly, you already understand their style and the content they publish, so you'll fit right in. Don't forget to look at guest blogging as a mutually beneficial relationship. Like all things in social media, it's not all about you. If you can't add value to the network, then you shouldn't even be trying. You'll also want to look to blogs that have a similar audience to your own. Again, there is no point in providing content to an audience that doesn't care about what you've got to say.
Another place to look is at sites that accept guest submissions. A quick google search with "submit blog" or "write for us" in the query will help you along the way.
And of course if you are a B2B business, I want you to absolutely think about blogging within LinkedIn's new publishing platform. Yes, this is hot off the presses. LinkedIn's publishing platform is now open to the public. The possibility of getting in front of LinkedIn's 200 million plus users is exhilarating, but you have to do it right. Create unique content for LinkedIn. Look at it as a guest blogging platform and not a syndication network. Duplicate content doesn't bode well with the Google gods. I know that I'll be spending investing some good ol' blogging sweat equity there, and you should too.
Good luck! I can't wait to read your blogs all over the Internet.
Do you have a question for Socially Stephanie?
Please email [email protected] and let Stephanie help you solve your social quandaries, queries, and boondoggles. (Questions may be edited for length and clarity.)
Illustration by Jesse Wells